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Euronews: Consumers Freak Out Over Data Security

Ray Le Maistre

Also in today's roundup: Telefónica Digital invests in e-health services startup; parent Telefónica preps mass LTE roaming service at MWC; Astellia buys Ingenia; and Jolla gets ready to take Sailfish global.

  • Research commissioned by Orange (NYSE: FTE) has found that consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the data being stored about them by third-party organizations such as communications service providers, handset manufacturers, and social media networks. Using data collected from consumers in France, Poland, Spain, and the UK, researchers found that users "are increasingly wary about how their information is being used, do not feel in control, and do not believe there are any resources to help educate them on how to manage their data online."

    More than three quarters of respondents (78%) stated that it is "hard to trust companies when it comes to the way they use consumer personal data," while the same percentage believe "service providers hold too much information about consumer behavior and preferences." The research also showed that consumer trust levels with such organizations are in decline. The study showed the following results:

    Which organizations do you trust less/more than a year ago?

    • Financial institutions: 31% of respondents trust less than a year ago / 21% trust more
    • Device manufacturers: 19% less / 18% more
    • Mobile operators: 26% less / 16% more
    • Internet service providers: 26% less / 16% more
    • App developers: 26% less / 13% more
    • Social networks: 46% less / 12% more

    Who do you trust to use/protect personal data?

    • Financial institutions: 51%
    • Mobile operators: 41%
    • Device manufacturers: 41%
    • Internet service providers: 41%
    • App developers: 24%
    • Social networks: 20%

  • Still with Orange, the French carrier giant is believed to be seeking acquisitions in Spain, with broadband services specialist Jazztel plc a possible target, according to this Bloomberg report.

  • Telefónica Digital has acquired an unspecified "strategic stake" in Spanish e-health services specialist Saluspot, which provides free online health advice and consultations from qualified doctors. Telefónica will help Saluspot consolidate its position in Spain and expand further in Latin America, where it is already established in Chile.

  • Meanwhile, parent company Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) plans to use next week's Mobile World Congress to pilot its global 4G roaming services, opening up its LTE network to a group of selected operators and technology partners from more than 15 countries. Delegates from operators in UAE, South Korea, and Russia, among others, will be putting the technology through its paces. (See Telefónica Organizes LTE Roaming at MWC .)

  • French mobile network monitoring specialist Astellia has acquired Spanish radio access network optimization systems vendor Ingenia Telecom for an undisclosed sum believed to be no more than €10 million (US$16.7 million). Ingenia has developed a software-based self-optimized network (SON) that has been deployed in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia/Pacific, but is still a small company, generating less than €5 million in revenues in 2013. Astellia generated revenues of €47.3 million ($79 million) in 2013, up 12% from a year earlier. (See Eastlink Picks Astellia for 3G/4G Monitoring and Bouygues Uses Astellia for 4G.)

  • Having already launched its smartphones, mobile device upstart Jolla has been updating its Sailfish OS and is ready to make it globally available in March, when the "Sailfish experience" will also become available as a download for Android OS users. Jolla is also in negotiations to sell its smartphones beyond Europe in countries such a India and Hong Kong and has forged several new partnerships. (See Jolla Preps Release of Sailfish OS 1.0 and 5 Challengers to Apple & Android.)

    — Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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    User Rank: Light Sabre
    2/27/2014 | 5:09:43 AM
    Euronews: Consumers Freak Out Over Data Security
    @pdonegan67: True. A lot of media indulgence depends upon the public statements made by the company. Although false statements shouldn't be made, still is made, to protect the company itself. The commerce related to the company depends solely on informatics and communications. If one of the two balls drop, then the company would move to a halt.
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    2/27/2014 | 5:08:35 AM
    Re Euronews: Consumers Freak Out Over Data Security
    The use of personal information by companies and the data charts they show have always been shaky. What they claim to use, they use at least 11 times more. Given that, there should be some ethics bounded with the information the companies receive. From the early leaks by Snowden to recent development by the same, people should get increasingly wary of their network/service providers. Even the third party developers who provide security apps cannot be fully trusted.
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    2/21/2014 | 12:04:21 PM
    Re: Big drop for mobile ops
    Europeans have a very diffirenet culture when it comes to privacy, and the European Union can make life difficult for anyone involved with technology.  Sometimes their motions make sense, sometimes they're not feasible from a logistics standpoint, but the consumers usually come before organizations.

    It (consumer confidence) will be definitely something to keep an eye on as it develops as it could have some serious reprocussions.  
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    2/21/2014 | 12:03:04 PM
    Re: Big drop for mobile ops
    Given all the bad stuff that's been coming out about data abuse, do you think it's also appropriate to ask the question, Big Data, anyone?
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    2/21/2014 | 11:50:20 AM
    Well, what have you got to say for yourself?
    Following Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and BT, this move makes Orange the latest major European carrier to go public with strong messaging around the security of customer information for their consumers.

    If you are a European carrier you almost certainly compete with at least one of these four powerful giants in your local market or at a pan-European level.

    So never mind asking why your company hasn't yet said anything on information security post Snowden revelations. Forget that.

    Just focus on two questions. What attention-grabbing public statements is your company going to make about this? And when?

    Because as credible options go, keeping a respectful (or is that conspiratorial?) silence  really is off the table now.
    User Rank: Blogger
    2/21/2014 | 10:23:19 AM
    Big drop for mobile ops
    That's a hefty fall in confidence in mobile operators -- mobile banking anyone?
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